Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dinner Dance and Hare and Toritoise Race Update

Dinner Dance and Hare and Toritoise Race.


We woke up to crystal clear blue skies and frosty temps yesterday - an absolutely perfect day for a run. Over 20 of us turned up this morning so we were able to have 10 teams. I (accompanied by Al to make sure my competitive streak did not appear) was paired with Ian Beattie. The tortoises set off first and I was very glad to have Al with me as all the other tortoises gradually pulled away from me - if I had been on my own, it would have been very tempting to try to keep up, but I knew if I did 1) Baby would not have been happy and 2) I'd have never made it to the dinner dance. I had a great run - it felt just fabulous to be running with the crisp air in my face and looking at the sparkles shining off the river - it didn't feel nearly as slow as it was- pregnancy is so very strange and I'm settling into it now and starting to enjoy the weird experiences - bar the constipation ; I will never make my peace with that! I can really see why RPE is a far better method of checking your working at the correct level as I was definitely running at RPE 6 and 7 up the hills.
Anyway, poor Ian struck a lonely figure as he waited for me to puff around the course and was the last to set off - I was just giving an extra hard work out to try and catch up with the rest - that's my excuse I'm sticking to it! Hee hee!
I christened my running skirt yesterday - totally love it.
There were photos taken yesterday and once they are up on the forum I will half hinch them for here.

Dinner Dance

After the race we came home, had an early lunch and I headed off to bed for an afternoon snooze for a couple of hours. I wondered if I would sleep as there was quite a lot of light coming through the curtains, but sleep I did!
It was lovely getting dressed up and I felt quite glam despite my growing bump.

Hubby and Me (Isn't he handsome!)

My friend Wendy and me

The meal was delicious and although I wasn't able to ceilidh, it was great fun to watch. Actually I had never realised how much kilts swing up during the strip the willow - there was quite a lot of male thigh action going on - fortunately that was all and no tackle was exposed! Al tried to take some photos but as every one is moving so much most are not terribly clear, but this one is probably the best.

Strip the Willow Chaos

The nap (and and incredibly lazy day on Friday) seemed to do the trick as I was able to stay to the very end (1am). I am shattered today, but it is so worth it.


I must try and do my Pilates today as I abandoned hopes of having the energy on Friday and then I can settle down to watch the last Ski Sunday of the season. What is with that, it is the end of Jan for goodness sake, how can that be the last Ski Sunday, when the season runs to April? I presume we'll be getting coverage of the Olympics when it starts, but even still.... Oh to live in a country that has skiing as their national sport, or at least one with decent coverage! Grr... O.K, Rant over!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Getting Fitter + Harriers' Dinner Dance

I think I am getting fitter:

On Thursday, I had a great spin. I did 40 minutes including warm up and cool down. I did 6 x 5 minute intervals that were made up of 3.5 minutes of fast legs sitting down and 1.5 minutes slow legs with harder resistance. 3 of the slow intervals were done sitting and 3 standing. In addition to be able to do longer, I realised that the resistance for both faster and slower intervals was more, but didn't feel harder. I felt very chuffed when I had finished. oh and I wore my running skirt and it was very comfortable and supportive. I can't wait to wear it running on Saturday.

Hare and Tortoise Race and Harriers' Dinner Dance

On Saturday is the Harriers Dinner Dance. I'm really looking forward to it except I'll have to be careful which ceilidh dances I do - I'm usually a big fan of strip the willow, but I'll be bypassing that dance this year as it is always total bedlam!
I tried on my dress a couple of weeks ago to check my inflated breasts could fit in it still and they could - just! Also as Ladies' Captain I have to do a speech, which is all written, but I'll be glad when it's done and I can fully relax.
In the morning of the dance the club always runs a handicapped race or some such and this year we are having a hare and tortoise race where faster and slower club members are paired up. Each hare and tortoise then runs one lap (about 2.5 - 3 miles) and there will be a prize for the fastest team presented in the evening at the dinner. I have volunteered to be a tortoise and I'm really looking forward to it and still being able to be involved in the club activities. Al is going to run round with me to make sure I don't get too competitive and push myself too hard! Hee hee!
I plan to try and get a wee afternoon snooze on Saturday so I can stay up as late as possible.

Pilates + Tiredness

30 minutes of Pilates will be done today once I've relaxed for a while. Yesterday was one of those days where tiredness simply overwhelmed me. Work was incredibly busy and I didn't get a chance to eat anything before the kids arrived and boy did I suffer for it - I was so tired by home-time that I had to leave my car at the end of mum's glen and she drove me home as I don't think it would have been safe for me to drive. I find those days so frustrating as I know now the only thing to sort that out is to go to bed, but of course when at work, I can't. I hate being tired for the kids, but what can you do?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Some excitement!

Very Honoured!

I phoned my friend Emily the other day to catch up and excitement upon excitement she asked if I would like to be her second boy Finlay's God parent! I'm so honoured - what a thing to do to a hormonal woman I was totally overwhelmed. Finlay's baptism is on the 14th March and it will be so wonderful. Actually it is very exciting because I worked out the other day that our wee babba bean will be exactly 9 months younger than Finlay so when they are a little older the will be completely ages with each other - it would be nice if we have a boy, but to be honest I really don't mind either way.

Silly bit of fun

While not nearly as exciting as above, it was fun to get my post this morning. I ordered a maternity running skirt the other day and it arrived this morning. It is dead cool. It has shorts underneath the skirt and a big tummy support. At the moment it is best when rolled over as it supports just under my bump (I of course tried it on immediately), but as bump gets bigger I can roll it up and support more of bump. It has 2 little side pockets where I can put a wee snack and phone etc. Love it! I'll try and get a photo of me sporting the skirt at some point.


Yesterday I did 30 minutes Pilates. I've decided to tick with 30 mins at the mo' as I only did 1 session last week with my heavier weights (hand held, not my growing bump!) so want my body to get used to that before adding extra time, pus as I'm trying to increase my cardio time I don't want to do too much too soon. (such sensibility and moderation!)


Will be doing my spin this morning (aiming for 35-40 mins) once I've done some work for this afternoon. Spent about an hour grovelling around the floor sorting out PCs when I went to work yesterday and it was just one of those days when the best made plans just do not come to fruition so need to do some lesson planning.

Monday, January 25, 2010

First Pregnant Club Run + The Ben Nevis Race

Yeah! After Saturday's confidence boost I decided I really wanted to try and get to Monday morning club run. Despite a crappy night sleep I forced myself up at 7.30am (nearly 2 hours earlier than usual) in order to get breakfast with enough time for it to digest.

I arrived a wee bit before everyone else in order to be able to do 5 minutes of walking in my warm clothes before everyone else arrived. Once folk started arriving I pulled off my warm layers and headed off before everyone else so I could walk for a further 5 mins before starting to run.

Just as I started to run I could hear the others starting to approach so I didn't get too much of a head start but it didn't matter as I was bale to run along with various people for a wee stretch before they bit by bit overtook me. Beth was the last to be ready to overtake but by that stage we were nearly at the junction where we all wait and we were deep in conversation so she kindly kept me company.

Everyone except Beth (who wanted a shorter run) carried on around the 10k route while Beth and I head back along the time trial route. I had to have a little walk up the first wee hill to get me started again, but despite breathing fairly heavily I was able to carry on a conversation with Beth the whole way back (Thanks, Beth - really nice) so knew I wasn't pushing overly hard.

So chuffed! Had a 5 minute walk at the end to ease off legs and stretch so that I am not as stiff as a board tomorrow. Actually I'm really pleased that I was not stiff yesterday after Saturday's run. Muscle memory is a wonderful thing.

The application forms for the Ben Nevis race are out today. The race is on the 6th September. Baby is due 25th June - is that too soon? Hmmmm decisions! I suppose I could enter and if there are complications and I just don't feel fit enough I could opt out. I would feel bad doing that as places are limited, but on the flip side I enjoyed the race so much last year that it would be fab to do it again. I had hope to be ready for the Comrie Hills Relay race usually about a week later, but is considerably shorter (1 hour compared to 2.5). Any opinions, please post them.

Plan for the week is:

2 x 3 mile runs
2 x 30 - 40 minutes pilates
1 x 35-40 minute bike ride.

OK, chores are a-calling!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tiredness is doing my head in!

Getting tired is really doing my head in.

As previously posted I was too tired to do anything on Thursday, then as I had to go to the centre on Friday I didn't get a work out - I did get a heap of work done however so there is always a positive in something.

I had a great run yesterday, but despite a 12 hour - yes 12 hour sleep have been very tired today. Nevermind - it has obviously just been one of those weeks and I have done 3 days of exercise which is more than many folk do non pregnant - plus one of those was what I would call a proper run so I should just look at the positives. Just getting a bit frustrated with the fatigue. I think it is because it reminds me of when my IBS was so bad I wasn't retaining the energy in my food and so was incredibly tired all the time. Since altering my diet I've been a bundle of beans and I love it, but pregnancy has definitely taken its toll on my energy levels and my IBS is on off not great.

C'est la vie - at least at the end of all this I will have such a special little bundle of joy and I just need to keep that in mind. If I am tired then baby needs me to rest - that is what is important.

A new week tomorrow!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Proper Run!

That was a great run!

I headed out for my 10 minute walking warm up out and back in one direction from my house while Al did a 10 minute run. When we got back to the house I dumped my extra layers and we headed out in the opposite direction for our run. After a 5 minute steady warm up we did 4 sets of intervals as follows:

4 minutes rpe5-6
1 minute rpe 6-7

The good thing about this was that Al could head off for the 1 minute intervals at his own pace and so get a decent work out, but we could still enjoy a run together - might as well enjoy that while we can!

We finished with a 2 minute jog and 3 minute walk, so 27 minutes running; 40 minute total workout time.

The best thing about the run today was that we made it to a particular junction about 1.5 miles away in 14 mins so while not setting any records at least I know I'm running at about 9.30 minute miles. I was just so pleased to know that I've run 3 miles in a oner and it makes I feel more confident to head out with the club on a Monday morning for a shorter version of the club run. That is if I can get up in time!

Right I must finish my speech for the club's dinner dance next week.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day from Hell!

What a kak day I had yesterday! I spent all of my morning (like everyone else's evening) trying to upload our maths and English programmes onto 2 new laptops I had bought for the centre, but they would just not load. They would get 99% finished and then script error would come up. I wondered if it was to do with the virus protector but couldn't get rid of it to enable it to load the progs. 3 hours later I had to give up for my own sanity, but it left me just enough time to squeeze in 30 mins pilates, shower, lunch, get packed dinner ready and rush out the door.

When I got to work one of the PCs started making a crazy noise and I nearly cried as I thought that it was going to blow up and 2 PCs had already died on me this week! Thankfully it sorted itself and as a couple of our students had finished in the middle session there were enough PCs to go around! I was so exhausted by that stage that my eyes felt like p*** holes in the snow!

Session 1 and 2 weren't too bad, but by session 3 I was so tired I could have easily put my head down on a desk and fallen asleep. At the end of the 3rd session a parent wanted check up on their kid's progress which I was very happy to be able to update is really starting to take off - really getting his confidence and his understanding of the English language is really maturing; then one of my tutor's needed advice on a student's program which I was happy to support him through, but all meant I couldn't leave until 9.45pm and so wasn't home until 10.45pm.

You would think after all that I would sleep like a baby, but no - a grotty night's sleep! The long and short of all that is I took the executive decision to sit on my backside this morning a chill out before work today!

Phew - I feel better with that off my chest!

Workouts this week so far have been:
35mins Bike spin
30 mins Pilates with 1kg weights as oppossed to 410g of canned beans!!!!)

I would like to also do:
2 x 35-40 mins runs
1 x 30 - 40 mins Pilates

But as I have to work at the centre on Friday instead of at home I may have to drop something - poss the Pilates as I really want to get back into the running - we shall see.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

First run for 3 months!!!!!

Woo hoo! I am so excited as today I got out for my first run in about 3 months. It is still really icy everywhere on trail around here, so we decided to park at The Famous Grouse and run out and back towards Monzie on the back road which is now fully snow and ice free.

I really want to get back to running regularly so was determined not to overdo things as is so tempting to do on your first outing after a time off, so ensured I followed the plan in my book to the latter.

The plan is as follows:

Walk - 5 mins
Faster walk - 2.30mins
Faster walk still - 2.30 mins

Gentle jog - 5mins

Steady run - 3mins
Faster run - 1-3mins (I chose to opt fopr 1 min today as I can always build up)
These intervals were repeated 4 times (16mins)

Cool Down - 5 mins (brisk to slow walk)

Total - 36 mins

The time can be increased by adding on more interval sessions.

I actually found this very steady warm up really helpful as it allowed my heart rate to increase slowly. This meant that I didn't find that my heart was beating so hard that It felt like it was about to pop out of my neck!

The disadvantage of the warm up was that as it as 2 degrees C I needed to wear my track pants and jumper until I was about to run or I wouldn't have got out of the car! Therefore I had to carry a wee back pack to put them into. As I was running I realised the other option would be to do my walking warm up near the car and then throw the extra kit in the car before starting to run so I will probably do that in future.

I found the first interval quite tough but once I had turned around and taken off another layer the return leg was far more comfortable and I could be heard doing a few 'whoops' for joy! It felt kinda weird in my legs at first but they soon got into it and my lungs relaxed too.

I was glad to have Al with me today to give me the confidence, but I can see more runs and longer runs on the horizon now- happy days!

Kaz and Babba-bean happy on endorphins after their run!

I am really pleased because I managed this run on the back of doing:

A 30 minute bike spin on Friday and
40 minutes of Pilates with a double core session on Saturday.

I was very tired on Saturday afternoon, but a good rest on the sofa and abandoning hopes of getting the food shopping done seemed to pep me enough to go out for a lovely meal with Al in the evening and today I feel fine. I suspect the deep sleep I had on Saturday night helped too.

Has anyone else had disturbed sleep during pregnancy - I find that I often have to get up and pee about 4 times a night or wake up quite hungry and need to munch on a snack!

A good week and I am getting much better at listening to my body (resting on Wed and Thurs as I could feel I needed to).

Friday, January 15, 2010

Highlight of 2009 Part 2 - The Ben Nevis Race

The other fantastic race I did this year was the Ben Nevis Race. For anyone that doesn't know what this is the race is a pretty simple idea. Start at the football pitch at pretty much sea level, run around it, run a mile along the road to the base of the mountain, run up to the summit at 1344m and reverse the process.

September the 9th was a day of rain. It rained and rained and rained. As we stood like cattle waiting for the go ahead we were told that it at the summit cairn conditions included 50ft visibilty and wind chill of -3 degress C with heavy rain and gusting wind to 40mph - nice! After several weeks of heavy rain the underfoot conditions were going to be pretty testing for the 475 runners.

This is what wrote on my clubs forum:

Yesterday was both truly miserable and absolutely fantastic! I have to admit to being more than a little nervous at the start, and my pre-race worry (some may say faff) about correct layers very nearly reached fever pitch. As it turned out my layers were just about ok (vest under montane waterproof jacket, 3/4 length running tights, innovate trails - must invest in some mudclaws as every other bugger had a pair on and I now know why), but I do recall several BRRRRRRs bursting forth from my lips during the last 20mins before the summit. how some people (usually men) can go the whole way up and down in a racing vest and shorts in weather like that will forever be an enigma to me!

Looking out before the start thinking: 'what will I wear?'

Forcing myself out to warm up before the start (I'm in red)

The cattle like start as they warned us of the conditions

Crossing the Red Burn (Thanks Silke)

Feeling knackered trying to ‘sprint’ on the slippy mud, but elated to be finished.

Highlights of the day:

· Finishing in under 2h30 (2h26mins49secs) with all limbs attached.
Looking upwards on the way up and seeing runners snaking up the Ben.

· The caring nature of most runners - even stopping to check I was ok when I screamed like heck when I tripped on a rock - that was a definite heart stopper!

· Being able to watch the first guys leaping down from boulder to boulder on their way down.

· The support from people on the hill and along the road.

· Being part of a race with International sponsored athletes in it!

· Low Points although to be honest it all added to the overall experience:
Getting more than a little frightened as I scrambled up the scree slope and realised that, yes indeed we did have to return that route as the first guys leaped like gazelles downwards.

· Sliding on to, not only my butt but my full back so that I was Luge stye coming down the grassy bank - quite funny until I realised that I wasn't going to stop very easily and before laughter turned into complete hysteria managed some how to get back to my feet.

· Jumping down a bank and landing in a muddy puddle that splashed up over my head - still getting granite out of my hair now!!!! (well I was the next day)


I was over the moon with my placement: 20th lady, but 14th British Lady which I totally can't believe - definitely need to work on my descents as that is without doubt the part I find the trickiest.

This will definitely be on my repeat list.

Highlights of 2009 Part 1 - Kaz does the Highland Fling

I wrote this blog post on the Strathearn Harriers blog after I had done the race as I wanted a record of it and didn't have a blog myself. I said at the time it was because it may be the only ultra I ever do, but I know myself better than that and once my blisters had healed and my legs let me go down stairs without pulling the banister off the wall I started thinking - hmm, bet I could go faster as I was comfortable for most of the way and I learnt so much. I loved the journey of both the training and the run itself. There are so many wonderful routes in amazing scenery around the world and I can feel myself plotting and planning for once little babba-bean is born. there will different logistics to take into consideration once babba arrives, but that will be half the fun I'm sure.

I ended up raising £1400 fo Mary's meals which feeds children in poor countries around the world for about £5/year in schools and so gives them an education as well as a full belly.

2.50am and the alarm goes off! Thank goodness as I had simply been lying in bed awake aware of every single phantom pain imagineable.

Mum and dad arrived to be taxi for the day and we were on our way to Milngavie by 4am. To be honest, it all felt a bit surreal as the enforced back off from runnng during my taper made it feel so distant.

Fortunately we were able to get parked easily and as us ladies set off at 6am the queue for the loos wasn't too bad. It was nice to see a few familiar faces from recce runs and helped to make it feel real. Before I was able to panick, I got into my kit, had a quick stretch and lined up at the 13 hours estimated time group.

Milgavie - Beech Tree Inn

6am and the whistle blue. Wow we were off. Now I was running I felt much better. This was quite a strange leg as there were so many people and I have been used to running on my own. I was very worried about going off too fast, but I felt comfortable and so just trotted on until I hit my first checkpoint for comparing times. I was a little faster, but nothing major. By the time I reached 'Team Kaz' as we nicknamed it, the crowds had thinned and I was trotting along with a few ladies who had done loads of Ultras. They were really nice and it was lovely to have a chin wag. I forced down my first juice just before the Inn so that I could swop my empty with Al. A cheery hello and onto my next stage.

BTInn - Parking above Drymen.

My overridding memories of this leg was chatting to Ellen for quite a while; beginning to fully realise I was running the Fling and still feeling apprehensive about mashing my legs too early. I walked a few hills but my legs felt pretty good and as they were warmed up now I started to gently jog more of the hills. I reached 'team Kaz' a little ahead of schedule which took the pressure off my quick shoe change. A quick stretch and I was off to Conic Hill. Woo hoo!

CH - Balmaha

I really enjoyed the run up the hill and was able to take it at a comfortable pace - slightly less agressively than my last training run as my hamstrings had sufferred as a consequence. It was as I climbed the hill feeling r
elatively gazelle like that the first elite men came belting past and
firmly put my grandiose image of myself to bed!.

My Goodness - unbelievable - it was as if the hill wasn't even there! Coming down was a belter and I was doubly glad I had my innovates on. It is great fun that descent and before I knew it I was in the car park at Balmaha, changing into shorts and T-shirt!

B - Rowardennan

I did not enjoy this leg. My quads felt heavy and I felt a bit ick. I just kept pushing on and trying to focus on the fact that my hamstrings felt good - I had ralgexed them at B and so I vowed to do the same to my quads at R. I had to wait a wee while to eat as I tried at my scheduled time and my stomach did not appreciate it. By the end of the leg I had a v hot spot on my right toe despite it being taped up. I was glad to get to R in my hoped for time despite feeling all of the above. If I am honest - it was a bit stressful as I didn't expect to feel bad then, but I wasn't backing out now!

R - Bein Glas

It was crazy busy at R. Luckily 'team Kaz' had all routes covered with mum, dad and Al all at different spots to catch me. They were great at this spot as I had to re-tape my toe as well as get food. It must of been hilarious viewing as each of them had their hands full with food, water, clothes or blister kit. Some flat coke and rice cracker smothered in honey went down a treat - not a stomach flip felt. I swopped my t-shirt for my vest as I was really hot and ralgexed my legs like a mad woman in the hope it would help.
Off I headed for 3.5 hours on my own. Not long after I set off I heard, "hello fellow harrier." I turned to see Phil T on my right. It was great to see him and he looked really fresh. His pace was too speedy for me so it was a brief chat, but it was really nice to see a team mate. I was worried this leg would drag, but as it worked out this lovely lady - who was also hoping for sub 13 - and I had a great hike togther up the hills. Our pace was pretty much exactly matched and I felt so much better after the food, ralgex and feeling cooler. We ran together for a lot of this whole leg which really helped as it was great fun to have a good old gossip. Unfortunately she headed on just as we dropped down to BG, as, well .... I wished to inspect a nearby bush. My left knee had started to niggle over the whole of this leg, but I really started to feel it as I had to descend. That all said and done I arrived at BG at my earliest hoped for time.

BG - Carmyle Cottage

I arrived to find my mate Morna had joined 'team Kaz'. It was such a boost. I was really quite hungry here, but I poss ate a bit too much as it sat in my tum and caused yucky cramping for quite a wee while. That was not the worst thing about this leg. I knew it would be tough as there is quite alot of up, however my legs were OK with those. It was down and flat that was a nightmare. My knee was screaming whenever I ran. It was SO frustrating because my legs wanted to run but it was so sore. I was having to grit my teeth and force my self to run for 50 or 100 steps. I did have a crisis of confidence because I knew I needed painkillers and I didn't have any. I will admit to having a little whimper and then, like an 'Angel sent down from Heaven above' Liz Tipping appeared in front of me. That wonderful woman with her goody bag of pills pumped me with paracetamol, anti nausea and anti inflammatory pills. It turns out that despite being a bit pucky after all that food it meant I could tolerated the drugs. As I hobbled away from Liz, Colin and Ally I saw Ian was just arriving. Like ships passing we didn't get a chance to say hello but it was good to see him none the less. Within 5 mins or so the edge had been taken off the pain and after 10mins my confidence had been restored - I could carry on. V frustrating though as I had lost a bit of time on that lg as I knew I could have run more without the pain.

CC - Bridge before Kirkton Farm

I grabbed coke and rice crackers from Al to go into my bag as I couldn't face anything yet, ice sprayed my knee and headed off. This was a good leg as the pain gradually receded to a dull ache and I think the pills must have eased all my other niggles too. The mud past the stinky farm was pretty solid so that was a pleasant surprise and I really like the leg through the forrest as it is 'Narnia' pretty.
The worst thing about this leg: tripping over a rock and so v nearly going for burton. Despite preventing a full on face plant I did managed to burst my blister on my right toe. 46 miles and my first sweary word burst forth from my lips! I even stomped my foot in high dudgeon! Thank goodness I was on my own. I was just so cross as I had removed my knee pain and the my blister which had been fine threatened my race. I have to admit I was so cross I stomped on banging my foot firmly on the ground with each step telling it (yes, out loud) that: "you are not going to hurt, you stupid toe". Well it seemed to listen because after a couple of mins and a bit of wiggling my toe into a better position in my shoe it was fine.
The best thing about this leg: seeing Ali Manners running up the hill in the forest to meet me for a wee run to the bridge. Thank you so much Ali, it was such a lovely boost.

Bridge - Tyndrum

A quick water and ice spray of knee and off. Wow! I am going to do it! Just after leavng Al, Ali and Morna the heavens opened, but fortunately it didn't get too cold. As I came up to the campsite I could see someone filming, and as there was no one behind me I realised it was me being filmed. I was a bit confused and then realised Colin had driven up from his previous spot with Liz Tipping and Ali B. He too ran along with me for a wee stretch as I took on my last juice to get me through the last 2.5 miles. I nearly beat 'team Kaz' to where you cross the road but was able to get a last ice spray and just kept pushing on. I was overjoyed to be still running most of the time and even the last litle drumlins before Tyndrum didn't seem too undulating. Through the forrest and then that last final straw - sorry stretch - to the white cottages. My heart was absolutely pounding, but I managed a last push to finish strongly.

Oh My Goodness! I had done it in 12 hours 11 mins and 53 secs - well under 13 hours! I can't tell you how proud I am of myself! To think I was so ill a few years ago that somedays I didn't have enough energy to get out of bed... means alot. In addition, to know I have raised enough money to feed 1.5 children per mile for a year (£380) so far makes all the pain I am in today worthwhile, and believe you me I am in pain - my blister had burst - atleast that rock has saved me another trip to the hospital to get it aspirated like I had to do 3 weeks ago!

The finish was great; loads of commaradarie and congratulating of people you had run with at various stretches; a great goody bag (champagne, medal, bottomless coffee cup for the Good Food Cafe, beer, lip salve); free massages and, although we didn't stay, a ceilidh. A huge well done to Phil T and Ian B. Just knowing you guys have been going through the same training and racing pain too has helped me to keep pushing on.

I do apologise if this post is deadly dull and a bit too much, however it may be the only ultramarathon I ever do so it will be nice to have a record of it. Who knows, it may even inspire someone else to push their boundaries.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Plan for week 11-17th Jan 2010

So my exercise plan for this weeks is as follows:

1 x 3 mile walk
2 x 40 mins Pilates (adding either an extra leg secton or Abs section
1 x 30 mins spin
1 x 3 mile run (if the ground isn't too treacherous - if it is I'll opt for a hike or perhaps even go for a swim)

So far I've done the walk and 1 x 40 minute Pilates (adding an extra leg section).

I've started teaching on a Tuesday again (mainly an exam student group so always a little more stressful than the younger ones) so I was home later on Tuesday night than I have been and thought it best to just relax yesterday morning.
The plan was to do my bike ride today, but I slept in until 10.15am and realised I was really tired (I guess I'm just getting used to being back at work plus doing exercise. I'm wondering if my body is fighting a bug too as everyone I know at the mo' has some bug or other and it is virtually impossible to avoid them) so decided to just catch up on some paper work and general chores.
I figure as I'm working from home tomorrow I will be able to squeeze in my bike ride easily enough without worrying about having to reserve enough energy for being uber enthusiastic for the kids!
I'm hoping that at the weekend I can get out for my first run in absolute yonks with my husband. I really don't want to head out on my own due to the conditions so I think I'll Pilates Sat and run on Sunday.

It's been really hard the past week because I've been organising the team for the Devil's Burden Hill Relay race and of course I can't run in it. Frustrating! The Devil's is such a great race. 2 legs need a team of two and running as a pair is great fun. Still if there isn't a huge thaw it will be hard going this year! I'll just have to learn to live vicariously through everyone else this year.

Yikes, I've just seen the time - must run and get lunch and then head to work.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Heating - what a luxury!

Yesterday Al and I picked up our new car (second hand, but who cares). It was snowing again and it was an hours drive to get to where we were picking up our car - needless to say that by the time we arrived at the car dealership we were both a little chilly to say the least. All paper work signed we jumped in our new car and guess what we did first? Yup, put the heating on full blast. Pure heaven! I didn't have to drive in my hat, ski gloves and jacket.

Our new 'Family Car'.

It feels so big and I don't feel nearly responsible enough to have a 'family' car! That doesn't bode well does it - if I don't feel responsible enough to have a family car, what about the family to go in it! I do sometimes have moments of panick actually - usually manifested in dreams where I've left the kid in the supermarket or gone out for a run and left it to fend for itself!!!! Horrible dreams. It is probably perfectly normal worries, because really I'm very excited. I can't wait until my next scan (4 weeks) so I can see my little Babba-bean again. It is definitely growing a pace as my belly is expanding. After the Christmas Hols I found I have only 1 pair of work trousers to fit as they sit nice and low - definitely time to try and find a petite pair of maternity work trousers - not a particularly easy task!

Friday 8th Jan - 4 miles

I woke up to a glorious day on Friday so thought I'd postpone the Pilates and head out for a
lovely walk. After spending 30mins chipping half an inch thick ice off the inside of the car windscreen I finally got on my way which of course meant that by the time I got to my destination I needed to pee again! That done I managed to head out on my walk nearly an hour later than planned!
It was absolutely freezing on Friday -9 degreesC. I wouldn't mind betting it was even colder than that in the shade and I could feel it biting at my face. I was so glad I had about a hundred layers on because not a single one was taken off! Still it was worth it as the views everywhere were fantastic and when the sun hit the snow it sparkled pinks, yellows, blues and the normal silvers. I can't remember seeing rainbow coloured sparkles before. Really special.
My walk took quite a while, as generally walking in the snow takes longer, but in addition, there were sections that were like a skating rink and I needed to take quite a bit of care. When I got home I was absolutely ravenous - I think between the extra mile, the extra effort of the snow and the extra freezing cold, I was burning energy like no tomorrow!

Sunday 10th January - 30 mins pilates

Driving to church this morning was such a pleasant experience in my warm car. I've had to literally force my self out the past few weeks as the thought of icy car and then chilly church was not terribly appealing.

This afternoon I'm about to do my Pilates DVD and then get on with the last of the chores. Why a chores never ending? In addition to the usual clothes washing, hoovering etc I've decided I'm really going to try and cook up batches of main meals and shove them in the freezer so that when time is short during the week I'm a lot less harassed.

Right I must stop procrastinating!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gosh I'm tired today. Mind you that's not surprising as I didn't get home from work until 11pm last night! Having said that, although I was feeling a bit ick by the time I got home, I still had some colour in my face and that was after a great work out on the bike this morning, so I'm well chuffed and am starting to hesitantly believe that I may be starting to glow!

Work outs this weeks so far have been:

Monday: 3 mile walk/hike in the snow.

Tuesday: 30 minutes Pilates workout.
- I bought a fantastic pregnancy Pilates DVD which has lots of 10 minute work outs and you can simply put them together to make out your desired workout. I'm hoping as I gain strength and confidence that I can gradually add on more 10 minute workouts to make a total of 1 hour workout, but I will play it by ear. I really like doing my Pilates as I feel so stretched and toned after it and I reckon if I didn't have it I would be as stiff as a board by the time I came to delivery. I love how it helps your posture and keeps you tummy strong, safely. The woman on the DVD is dead 'preggers' herself so it gives you confidence. It probably helps that I've been to taught classes before, however so I know how the basic postures should feel.

Wednesday: 30 minutes bike session
- 5 min warm up RPE 3-5
- 20 min work out - 3 mins RPE 4-6 with fast legs
- 1 min RPE 4-6 more resistance so slow legs (Repeated)
(2 x 1 min standing, 3 x 1 min seated)
- 5 min cool down gradually down to RPE 2

My friend Claire got me a really good book that has an excellent section on regaining your fitness after an awful first trimester and this is the workout recommended. Dead useful as it can be transferred to any equipment or running, and extra time can be added on easily enough. It takes a bit of time to get used to the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) but after a short while I'm sure it can be a really useful tool. Apparently its better than HR as that can be so variable during pregnancy.

I had hoped to do my Pilates DVD again today, but I think it might be prudent to rest up before work today. I can always do it tomorrow as I'm working from home, or at the weekend. Speaking of the weekend, we pick up our new car on Saturday and I can't wait as I've had no heating in my old car for the past 3 weeks - what a time for that to pack in. I have to drive while scraping the ice off the inside of the windscreen - not recommended!

Over the next few days I hope to do my Pilates workout and get out for at least 1 walk. I guess I better save some energy to the housework too - boo!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas Day and 4th of January Hikes

Monday 4th January

Today, as Al is still off, all 3 of us got out for a walk up to the top of the Knock and then around its base. I was really pleased because, having had to take the hill at one step at a time previously, I was able to go up at a steady pace. I was glad the snow was still grippy and not too icy like other walks in the area however. It is strange having to be a bit of a woose and be extra careful on the ice.

The view from the top is absolutely spectacular and I don't know if I will ever tire of it. On the right you can see up Glen Turret towards Ben Chonzie while directly ahead is the Strathearn valley that leads up to Ben Vorlich. It makes me feel like I am still in touch with 2 of my favourite mountain runs. Unfortunately as everything is so white at the mo' and it was quite flat light today it is quite hard to pick out the different features in the photo.

From the top

Half way up, through the trees

We mourned the end of the holiday by having lunch in the Crieff Hydro after our walk as we were starving (this baby likes to eat!)

Christmas Day

We spent Christmas at my parents. My mum and dad live in a forrest (no joke) so, as their drive was blocked due to snow, to get to the house on Christmas Eve we had to hike up the drive with all our pressies. This is the view we woke up to from our bedroom:

So of course, once presents had been opened and the turkey had been stuffed, as we had been to 'midnight' mass (we opted for the 8pm version this year as making it to 10pm is an achievement!)all 3 of us headed out for a lovely hike in the glittering snow up the hill opposite mum and dad's. We didn't make it all the way up, but we made it further than I had thought, especially considering the snow was quite deep.

The end of mum and dad's drive - it gets steep so cars get stuck half way up so its easier if everyone just parks at the end of the drive.

The views were so far stretching as the light was outstanding. My parents live in the triangle of forest directly at the bottom - told you I wasn't kidding!

At the top mum, dad and babba-bean had some non alcoholic mulled wine - yum!

Then it was time to take babba-bean home for turkey dinner as the sun dropped behind the hill.

What a great Christmas hike. I was like a kid in a sweetie store in my excitement at being able to be up a hill in the sparkling snow!

Back to work tomorrow - boo! As I don't finish work until 9.30pm at the earliest and therefore don't get home until 10.30pm I'm expecting some white faced days ahead of me! Fingers crossed that I surprise myself.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


What a strange concept writing into cyberspace is. That said, I'm quite excited about keeping a record of some amazing things that happen in our life. The most incredible at the moment being, of course, the growth of our little baby in my belly.

Weeks 1 -12

Before I fell pregnant I had bought books on: 'how to run through your pregnancy' and 'exercising while pregnant' etc and as far as I was concerned no one was going to stop me.
Well up until week 7 that was all going to plan - I was a bit puffed to say the least and I certainly wasn't going to break any records, but I was still churning out the miles.
Then week 7 struck and Progesterone Poisening (all day hideous nausea, all consuming fatigue and breathlessness) commenced, rendering me incapable of doing anything more taxing than lie flat on my back, let alone continue to run. On any good days I would try and get for a walk, but it usually left me so exhausted that I would be back to flat on my back shivering uncontrollably. Not the most pleasant experience of my life, but the doctors assured me that in many ways they were all good signs as I had plenty hormones to support the baby!

I had no idea that pregnancy could make you feel like that - what a contrast - only a few weeks before hand, I had been running up and down Ben Nevis. I'm sure not everyone feels like that, but I'm sure for those that have done/are feeling like it, it is a comfort to know that other ladies struggle to keep up with the exercise. I felt quite disappointed in myself that I wasn't able to keep running and as I have had to rely on my staff (I'm self employed) to support me through these past few months, I really found it a new and taxing experience. I felt very lonely and felt like all the things that usually give me so much joy were totally out of reach. Thank you Emily for your constant presence at the end of the phone on my worst days!

Then I had my 12 week scan and all the hideousness was instantly made bearable as my husband and I watched our little baby wave its little arms and legs around and hear its heart beating strong and clear. If that is what it took for my wee one to develop healthily in its first few months, then as awful as it was, I'm happy to do it. It is incredible how much you can love something so much so quickly.

Here is little babba-bean at 11 weeks 6 days:

Christmas Hols

Thankfully at the end of my first Trimester the Christmas Holidays arrived and I have spent the past couple of weeks steadily experiencing more energy. The thing I am most grateful for, is in between bouts of fatigue, feeling like myself and wanting to laugh and do things. In the past 2 weeks I've been out for 4 lovely hikes in the snow, done 2 sessions of Pilates and yesterday, the most exciting of all, I was able to get on the spinning bike my husband and I bought each other for Crimbo and get a proper cardio workout! I still get tired - usually every other day and am still sleeping 10 - 12 hours a night, but every other day I have been able to do some sort of exercise. I feel so much happier already and hopefully my energy levels will steadily increase for the next few weeks anyway.

The advantage of being able to do nothing for about 2 months is that anything I am able to do now I am hugely grateful for, rather than comparing it to pre pregnancy! In addition I've had to ask for help - from my hubby, my parents and my staff which is something I find quite hard to do - perhaps my babba-bean is really quite clever and decided I needed to be taught and few lessons! I hear you wee one - can we start having a few gentle adventures now?